Tommy, the last of the Ramones (RIP)
They were a band that defined a musical genre, a style and remain a pop culture staple but on Friday the last surviving member of the Ramones original line up passed away. Drummer Tommy Ramone died in Queens, New York, aged 62, in a hospice following treatment for bile duct cancer.
The band have become synonymous with the punk movement and symbolise the later Seventies era.
Tommy said in 1978: ‘It wasn’t just music in the Ramones: it was an idea. It was bringing back a whole feel that was missing in rock music – it was a whole push outwards to say something new and different. Originally it was just an artistic type of thing; finally I felt it was something that was good enough for everybody.’
Born Tom Erdelyi in Budapest, Hungry, Tommy was never meant to be part of the punk group when they formed in New York but was meant to be the band’s manager.
Lead singer Joey Ramone was supposed to be on drums but he struggled to be able to keep up with the now seminal fast paced punk beat of the band’s songs.
So Tommy – who was not related to his band mates but whom took on the same last name as a gimmick – was drafted as the drummer in 1974 and played with the band for four years on their first three albums, Ramones, Leave Home, and Rocket to Russia before being replaced by Marky Ramon, who is still alive.
The groups’ other founding members all passed in the last 15 years with Joey Ramone dying of lymphoma in 2001, Dee Dee of a drug overdose in 2002 and Johnny passed away after battling prostate cancer in 2004.
Blitzkrieg Bop (1077, London)
Loudmouth (1975) Live Japanese TV
I wanna be your boyfriend (Tommy Ramone, 2012)
I wanna be your boyfriend (Kansas City, 1976)